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Must-see North West Attractions




For the most part, South Africa's North West province is a vast grassland dotted with trees and views that stretch to distant horizons. It contains 2 of the country's largest game reserves, the world's largest playground and a World Heritage Site.


Hartbeespoort Dam

Surrounded by the beautiful Magaliesberg mountain range, Hartbeespoort Dam is a very popular weekend getaway. The Dam offers an array of water sports, a local bird sanctuary, challenging hikes and gentle rambles. A collection of restaurants and the Welwitschia Market – for arts, crafts, novelties, curios etc

Hartbeespoort Acquarium

The Hartbeespoort dam Acquarium offers an exciting variety of freshwater and tropical fish, crocodiles (nile, slender-snout and dwarf, all indigenous to Africa), pelicans

Hartbeespoort Snake & Animal Park

Within these walls, a world has been created where visitors can experience the essence of what makes Hartbeespoort Dam unique, the presence of animals, water lapping at stone walls and jetties, giant trees, exotic foliage

Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway

Get a bird's-eye view of Hartbeespoort Dam and the ancient Magaliesberg Mountains from Hartbeespoort's Aerial Cableway, Africa's newest and longest mono-cableway.

Sun City &The Lost City

Sun City Hotel & Entertainment complex is known the world over as a tourism hotspot. The Lost City is the obvious highlight of the Sun City Complex and the Palace of the Lost City with its extravagant lost world theme and African feel is one of the most famous hotels in the world.

De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Sanctuary

The De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust facility has gained international recognition for bringing the cheetah back from the brink of extinction through its captive breeding programmes. Over the past two decades the centre's efforts have resulted in the major achievement.

Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi, which means for 'light', was initiated in 1995 as a tourist attraction and today features five traditional dwellings, each representing a South African culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele. Each of these families lives here permanently, looking after cows, chickens and tourism.

Silkaatsnek Game reserve

The 17 000 hectare privately owned Silkaatsnek Nature Reserve lies in the foothills of the Magaliesberg in the North West province, between Brits and Hartbeespoort, making it an easy break away venue for weekends for those living in both Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Pilansberg National Park

The Pilanesberg National Park, which covers some 55 000 hectare, is the fourth largest in southern Africa. This malaria-free park is perched on the eroded vestiges of an alkaline volcanic crater - one of only three such craters in the world. The park boasts healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino etc.

Cradle of Human Kind

The Cradle of Humankind Site comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a warm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago.

The Royal Bafokeng Stadium

The Royal Bafokeng Stadium will host first and second round matches for the FIFA™ World Cup in 2010. Located in Rustenburg in the North West Province, Royal Bafokeng was opened in 1999 and completely funded by the Royal Bafokeng community. The capacity of the Royal Bafokeng was increased to 42,000.


Rustenburg is situated some 112 km north-west of Johannesburg, at the foot of the Magaliesberg. It is the third oldest town of the old Transvaal Province and has numerous places of interest. The streets are lined with jacaranda trees

Taung Heritage Site

"The Place of the Lion" named after Tau, the chief of the Bataung people, who made his headquarters here during the 18th century. Taung became famous in 1924 with the discovery of a fossilised skull of a child. Prof Dart, who discovered the skull belonging to an early hominid, named it "Australopithecus africanus"


When the Republic of Stellaland was proclaimed in 1882, Vryburg was established as its capital. The people called themselves "vrybugers" (free citizens) hence the name of the town.

Barberspan Bird Sanctuary

Regarded as one of the largest waterfowl sanctuaries in Southern Africa, Barberspan Bird Sanctuary lies on the outskirts of the little known Delareyville, close to Vryburg on the N14 highway and roughly three hours' drive from Johannesburg. Barberspan is the largest of a series of pans.

Schweizer Reineke

a battle against the Korrona in 1885. Surrounded by sunflower and maize fields, this is an attractive historical area to explore


The town of Stella was named after the daughter of the owner of the farm Biesjesbult, which was often used for church gatherings in the early twenties. Stella is widely known as host of the annual Cattle Festival held in October

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is about 70 000 hectares of bush land, about 3 hours' drive from Johannesburg. It is one of South Africa's largest and most popular game reserves and serves as home for cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, lion, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, zebra, giraffe

Groot Marico, Swartruggens

The rustic town of Groot Marico is a typical North West town, brimming with historical charm and atmosphere. Here you can visit the Marico Dam Nature Reserve with Bushmen rock paintings and have Groot Marico - Herman Charles Bosman weekends, made famous through his books with colourful characters

Botsalano Game Reserve

Botsalano Game Reserve lies just north of Mafikeng close to the Botswana border. It is also the site of one of the oldest volcanic craters in the world. Catching a glimpse of the white rhino is without doubt a highlight of the reserve, but the access to mountain biking and hiking trails which allows you to wander


Lying between the towns of Mafikeng and Coligny on the R503, Lichtenburg is predominantly a farming town about 200 kilometres west of the major metropolis of Johannesburg. The pretty little town of Lichtenburg


The original name of the city, Mafikeng, literally means "the place among rocks". The name refers to the volcanic rocks that provided temporary shelter to Stone Age humans in their hunt on animals drinking water in the Molopo River. This bustling city is the capital of the province


Mmabatho, once the capital city of the North West province, lies just south of the Botswana border - relegated to something of a suburb of the now capital city of Mafikeng. But this in no way detracts from the buzz


Mixed farming and mining of minerals (lead and chrome) are the backbone of the economy in the bushveld town of Zeerust. Attractions include the Kleinfontein Memorial, Kaditshwene Village Ruins, the Zeerust Museum, Marula Kop.

North West University Botanical Garden

The bird list alone reads like a veritable feast, and you can hope to see anything from a steppe buzzard and African harrier-hawk to a spotted flycatcher and malachite kingfisher in the North-West University Botanical Garden that graces the University of the North West in Potchefstroom.

Bloemhof Dam

Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve lies on the North West province side of the Bloemhof Dam, on the dam's northern shores. Regarded as one of the largest dams in South Africa covering an area of 25 000 hectares that lies at the confluence of the Vaal and Vet Rivers. Bloemhof is one of the angling destinations in the country

Boskop Dam

The Boskop Dam Nature Reserve is 3000 hectares of rolling grasslands that offer visitors sightings of black wildebeest, springbok, red hartebeest, zebra and blesbok. Situated about 20 kilometres from Potchefstroom, Boskop Dam lies amongst a series of low hills. It is a fantastic fly-fishing venue, offering crystal clear water

Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve

For bird enthusiasts the Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve often forms part of a bird spotting tour and is regarded as a place for 'serious' birding. It helps that there are two loops of well-maintained roads and three seasonal dams in the reserve, so that accessing both the birds and the 30 odd species of wildlife resident is possible.

Wolwespruit Nature Reserve

The Wolwespruit Nature Reserve lies on the Vaal River and is one of the least known of the parks in the North West province, possibly because of its size - only 2330 hectares. The reserve is popular with birdwatchers and hikers. The grassy plains are home to a number of antelope.


Bloemhof is a maize and cattle farming town on the banks of the Vaal River. Attractions include the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve (a variety of small and large antelope species and 256 bird species) and the SA Lombaard Nature Reserve (this reserve lies west of Bloemhof


When diamonds were discovered in the Vaal River in the 1870s, the Transvaal Government hastily established a settlement on the banks, naming it after Christiana, the only daughter of then President Pretorius. Attractions include Diggers Diamond Museum (authentic digging equipment)


The discovery of gold in 1886 saw thousands of prospectors flock to Klerksdorp. Today, Klerksdorp is the centre for a large mining and agricultural economy and boasts the second largest grain co-operative in the world


Orkney lies on the banks of the Vaal River, approximately 180km from Johannesburg. The town was proclaimed in 1940 on the farm Witkoppen, where the owner had first started gold mining. The owner hailed from the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Scotland, hence the name.


Potchefstroom, the original capital city of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, has a multitude of national monuments, respected educational institutions and a strong agricultural economy


Stilfontein, meaning 'still fountain', lies between Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom, roughly 130 kilometres from Johannesburg. Stilfontein is essentially a mining town that forms part of what is known as the KOSH area (Klerksdorp, Orkney Stilfontein)


Wolmaransstad lies in the valley of the Makwassie Stream, which takes its name from the many wild spearmint bushes that grow along its banks. Founded in 1891, the town became an important stop on the old postal route between Johannesburg and Kimberley

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Hartbeespoort, Magaliesburg & Rustenburg

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